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Daniel's Top 5 Favorite Albums for Astral Travel

I haven't done a top 5 favorite list for a while. I have been wanting to do one for music, but wanted to spend some time finding some new stuff to listen to. I found, however, that it is really hard to find the kind of music I appreciate most. My favorite genre is music that you can listen to which helps augment your experience when going to a shamanic state of consciousness, something airy and ambient, but with beats, not too electronic, no dub or goa . . . it's hard to pin-point. Most of the stuff out there is trip-hop electronica, and that's not what I'm talking about. I don't even know how to categorize it. Albums fit for astral travel, that can carry a whole experience for you . . . an album that IS an altered state of consciousness itself, that you can listen to from beginning to end as one long journey. Here are my top 5 . . .

5 - Sorcerer by Michael Stearns

My number 5 slot, as with any top 5 list for me, is the most frequent game changer. Michael Stearns has a great portfolio of work for specifically spacey, ambient oriented music. This one is a little different, definitely catered to a shamanic audience that wants to use music as means of facing your own inner world of shadow. I love the versatility of this album and the story it tells. My only wish is that the songs could be longer. The short time spans interrupt the journeying process just a tad . . .

4 - The Gathering by Inlakesh

Didgeridoo duo Inlakesh never fail to deliver experience that one could either journey or dance to! Sometimes it feels tribal, other times in a rave (but not too much...again, no dub!) . . . Inlakesh certainly creates a sound that grabs hold of your senses and doesn't let go! The word "inlakesh" is a Mayan phrase meaning something to the effect of "You are another me" or "I am another you." And certainly your sense of identity is lifted in holistic cacophony of sound in this album. A good one to lose yourself!

3 - Shamanic Dream II by Anugama

This is kind of my definitive album I play in any kind of shamanic ritual or ceremony. Anugama is a classic, and brings in a array of tribal influences to make something truly unique. This album specifically doesn't have a lot of variation in rhythm throughout, but certainly sets the tone for some amazing trance, meditation, or astral travel. It is one of the more calming albums I own, without being too airy. Especially if you are preparing a ritual or a shamanic journey of grace and thanksgiving, I would recommend this album as your mood-setter.

2 - Path of Least Resistance by Craig Padilla & Zero Ohms

soma fm (a great source for this kind of stuff). To be honest, I need to dive into the portfolio of each of these respective musicians a little more, but from what I have heard so far this collaborative album is the best of the bunch. Spacey, airy, with a multitude of beats and textures splayed throughout. The greatest thing about this album is the '80s, Tangerine Dream-esque synthesizer that crops up now and then (yet in a modern way) to comfort my soul like a warm, retro blanket. Out of this entire list, this is the newest find. I happened upon one of the tracks during a late night writing while listening to

1 - Wachuma's Wave by Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig

I could filled every spot on this list with one of Byron Metcalf's albums and have been fine with it (but I am trying to spread the wealth around a little). He is by far my favorite living musician right now and this album rates as my number one favorite music album of all time, in any genre. An incredible percussionist, this album is a collaboration with Bansuri flutist Mark Seelig and ambient genius Steve Roach. The three best masterminds in their respective fields. This album was an experiment to invoke the spirit of the Peruvian medicine plant Wachuma though music itself (you can find out more via my interview with Byron) and it is a wild and engaging astral ride if every there is one. You cannot listen to this album idly. The best scenario is in the dark, lying down, with loud speakers, allowing the music to just move through and change you. You should not focus on anything else other than experience this masterpiece with your full attention. THIS is the kind of work I am looking for! I want more stuff like THIS! Nothing beats the work the three wove together in this once-in-a-lifetime creation!

What albums do you recommend for trance or meditative journeys? Let me know in the comments!

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